23 Feb 2016

Bristol aims to become a Zero Waste City

Targets for Bristol to become a Zero Waste City have been unveiled.

Bristol City Council is in the process of refreshing its waste strategy with the aim of delivering real practical outcomes for people across the city.

Bristol is ambitious and has set itself a number of challenging targets including:

  • To produce the lowest amount of residual household waste per person per year of any UK Core City. The aim is to cut the current figure of 240kg by a third with a target of below 150kg – equivalent to two and a half times the average adult human’s bodyweight - by 2025
  • Recycle and prepare for re-use 50% of waste by 2020 and 70% by 2025
  • Reduce the amount of food waste going into residual waste (black bin) from almost 40% to 10% by 2025.

The strategy, which will go before Cabinet next week, outlines plans to reduce waste overall, minimising the city’s demand on natural resources and maximising the repair, re-use, recycling and recovery of resources.

In 2014/15 Bristol recycled, composted and re-used 45% of its waste, up significantly from 12.7% in 2004/05. For a major urban area, Bristol performs well when measured against other major cities in the UK. 

However, as a city we want to do more and the council has an ambition to move towards a more ‘circular economy’, where goods and materials are constantly re-used and recycled rather than discarded as waste. This can contribute to protecting both the local economy and the environment.

Councillor Daniella Radice, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods, said: “We need to have a city wide discussion about waste and resources.

“Our main aim is to reduce waste overall, and not just increase recycling.

“Re-use will play a vital role in the future. Not only is it important for the environment, it can make reconditioned and repaired second hand items much more affordable than new items, and means that we can create jobs. 

“We want to look at the bigger picture and involve the whole city. We will be encouraging everyone, including businesses, to play their part.”

There are three phases to the strategy, and this refresh will be followed by an options appraisal, and a detailed action plan.

There will be consultation carried out in the summer to allow the public to have their say on specific options being considered.

The ambition is to continue the work done during our year as European Green Capital, and the council will be rolling out campaigns and communications to help share messages and encourage behaviour change.